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Now, by my maiden honour, yet as pure
As the unsullied lily, I protest,
I would not yield to be your house's guest :
Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame. Prin. Not so, my lord; it is not so, I swear ; We have had pastimes here, and pleasant
King. How, madam ? Russians ?
Ay, in truth, my lord; T'rim gallants, full of courtship, and of state.
Ros. Madam, speak true: It is not so, my lord; My lady, (to the manner of the days), 3 In courtesy, gives undeserving praise. We four, indeed, confronted here with four In Russian habit: here they stay'd an hour, And talk'd apace; and in that hour, my lord, They did not bless us with one happy word. I dare not call them fools; but this I think, When they are thirsty, fools would fain have drink. Biron. This jest is dry to me:- - Fair, gentle
sweet, Your wit makes wise things foolish; when we
greet With eyes best seeing heaven's fiery eye, By light we lose light : Your capacity Is of that nature, that to your huge store Wise things seem foolish, and rich things but poor. Ros. This proves you wise and rich; for in my Biron. I am a fool, and full of poverty.
9 After the fashion of the times.
Ros. But that you take what doth to you belong, It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.
Biron. O, I am yours, and all that I possess.
I cannot give you less. Ros. Which of the visors was it that you wore? Biron. Where? when? what visor ? why demand you
this? Ros. There, then, that visor ; that superfluous
case, That hid the worse, and show'd the better face. King. We are descried: they'll mock us now
downright. Dum. Let us confess, and turn it to a jest. Prin. Amaz’d, my lord? Why looks your high
ness sad ? Ros. Help, hold his brows! he'll swoon! Why
look you pale?Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy. Biron. Thus pour the stars down plagues for
perjury. Can any face of brass hold longer out ? Here stand Í, lady; dart thy skill at me; Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a
flout: Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance;
Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit ; And I will wish thee never more to dance,
Nor never more in Russian habit wait. O! never will I trust to speeches penn'd,
Nor to the motion of a school-boy's tongue ; Nor never come in visor to my friend; 4
Nor woo in rhyme, like a blind harper's song;
Taffata phrases, silken terms precise,
Three-pilá hyperboles, spruce affectation, Figures pedantical ; these summer-flies
Have blown me full of maggot ostentation :
God knows !)
In russet yeas, and honest kersey noes :
Ros. Sans SANS, I pray you.
Yet I have a trick
to us. Biron. Our states are forfeit, seek not to undo
Ros. It is not so; For how can this be true, That you stand forfeit, being those that sue ? Biron. Peace; for I will not have to do with
you. Ros. Nor shall not, if I do as I intend. Biron. Speak for yourselves, my wit is at an
end. King. Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude
transgression Some fair excuse. Prin.
The fairest is confession. Were you not here, but even now, disguis’d?
King. Madam, I was.
And were you well advis'd ?
then were here, What did you whisper in your lady's ear?
King. That more than all the world I did re
Prin. When she shall challenge this, you will
reject her. King. Upon mine honour, no. Prin.
Peace, peace, forbear; Your oath once broke, you forces not to forswear. King. Despise me, when I break this oath of
Prin. God give thee joy of him! the noble lord
troth, I never swore this lady such an oath. Ros. By heaven, you did; and to confirm it
plain, You gave me this: but take it, sir, again.
King. My faith, and this, the princess I did give; I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.
Prin. Pardon me, sir, this jewel did she wear ; And lord Birón, I thank him, is my dear :
me, or your pearl again?
Biron. Neither of either; I remit both twain.
I I see the trick on't;: Here was a consent, 6 (Knowing aforehand of our merriment,) To dash it like a Christmas comedy: Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight
zany,7 Some mumble-news, some trencher-knight, some
Dick, That smiles his cheek in years; and knows the trick To make my lady laugh, when she's dispos’d, Told our intents before: which once disclos’d, The ladies did change favours; and then we, Following the signs, woo'd but the sign of she. Now, to our perjury to add more terror, We are again forsworn; in will and error. Much upon this it is: - And might not you?
(T. Boyet. Forestal our sport, to make us thus untrue ? Do not you know my lady's foot by the squire, 8
And laugh upon the apple of her eye?
Holding a trencher, jesting merrily?
Full merrily Hath this brave manage, this career,
been run. Biron. Lo, he is tilting straight! Peace; I have done.
Cost. O Lord, sir, they would know,
6 Conspiracy 7 Buffoon. 8 Rule.